Commissioner Seigfred Mison of the Bureau of Immigration (BI) has turned the tables on his colleagues at the bureau by tagging them as extortionists, if not embezzlers of public funds.
In a letter addressed to President Benigno Aquino 3rd, Mison debunked claims of a certain lawyer named Faizal Hussin of labor union Buklod-CID, who took out a full-paged ad in a daily newspaper for an open letter that he had written to the President, asking for Mison’s removal from office for filing excessive reimbursments, coddling undesirable aliens Fu Gaofeng and Wilson Cheng thru illegal release order and blacklist removal, respectively, and increasing his overtime pay.
The Immigration chief said Buklod-CID, led by its president Gregorio Sadiasa, has disowned Hussin’s statement and clarified that the executive board of the labor union did not authorize Hussin to write the letter and that any statement in it is his personal opinion, not of Buklod-CID.
Mison linked Hussin to Associate Commissioner Gilberto Repizo, revealing that the two worked closely as technical assistants of then-Associate Commissioner Jose Lopez during the latter’s term from 1996 to 1998.
“This open letter is another case of misrepresentation, the very same offense he committed in 2009 when he [Hussin] falsified his Personal Data Sheet to justify his prolonged stay at the bureau. The letter of Hussin is yet another malicious and desperate move from a man who stands as an accused in an extortion case, which happened two years ago in Cebu, [and]which case is subject of an Ombudsman complaint filed by the foreigner-victim himself,” Mison said in the letter,which he gave to reporters at the sidelines of a congressional hearing on Tuesday.
He was referring to the incident in Cebu back in November 2013 wherein Hussin and his team allegedly extorted money from several individuals and schools in consideration for their release from Immigration bureau’s custody.
The Justice department is still investigating the incident.
Mison said claims for reimbursements were made by his subordinate whom he fired because of misconduct and that his accuser, Felino Quirante Jr. was also charged before the Ombudsman for receiving funds–a case that was dismissed because Quirante died last year.
On the warrant of deportation against Fu that was later withdrawn, the Immigration chief noted that there was nothing illegal about such rectification because he issued the warrant of deportation thinking that the deportation order has reached its finality.
As such, Mison insisted that he only righted his error by withdrawing the warrant of deportation–an action that is legal because Justice Secretary Leila de Lima later issued a resolution ordering the release of Fu.
He explained that Cheng’s name was also lawfully removed from the blacklist and the appropriate fees were paid as early as November 4, 2014 but such lifting was apparently not immediately reflected in the airport database.
Cheng’s request for exclusion from the blacklist was granted after verifying official documents and the system.
“What is the motivation of Hussin and his cohorts? These so-called old timers, disgruntled employees, or bad guys from within want nothing more than to destroy the reforms being institutionalized at the Bureau of Immigration. They are after me because I am the one leading the charge for genuine change and since they have lost, and continue to lose illegal revenue from their corrupt practices,” Mison said.
He defended his overtime pay, citing a Commission on Audit memorandum that says there is no provision of law prohibiting him from receiving the overtime pay because he is also an employee of the Bureau of Immigration.
“This latest attack on my integrity is a manifestation that my campaign against the bad guys are working. Their willingness to shell out more than P300,000 to publish a latter supposedly sanctioned by the recognized labor association of the bureau reflects their well-funded and organized efforts against me,” Mison said.
“Let me warn this Gang of Four that as much as they will not stop attacking my character as their way of opposing reforms, I will not stop introducing and institutionalizing reforms needed in the Bureau of Immigration, without fear or favor,” he added.